8 Story Types to Effect Change

Here are eight story types by author and storyteller Stephen Denning. He indicates that these types of stories can be used by leaders to effect change.

  • Motivate Others to Action—These types of stories are designed to ignite action and to spur implementation of new ideas or activities within an organization. These are motivational in nature and should contain a call to action.
  • Build Trust in You—This is a story that provides you with creditability, has a positive tone and typically shows a personal turning point in your life or career indicating you are a person who can be trusted.  You tell these types of stories when dealing with new people or when first introduced to a person.
  • Build Trust in Your Organization—This is similar to the story to build personal trust but, instead, focuses on the organization. Actions taken by the organization that indicate it can be trusted. Often times this is a brand story. It is the history of an organization doing good and helping others. It is an opportunity to show core values.
  • Transmit Your Values—Values are established by actions and stories. These stories tell how action was taken that supported your values.
  • Get Others Working Together—A well crafted story can convey the need to work together as a group and can illustrate the benefits of collaboration.
  • Share Knowledge—Much like the expressive type of story above, knowledge sharing stories provide knowledge that can help a person accomplish a task or work through a problem.
  • Tame the Grapevine—A well placed story can help counter rumor mills and place the attention on the leader rather than the rumor.
  • Create and Share Your Vision—Much like the strategy story type above, this type of story can serve as a evocative motivator to help position an organization for the future.


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For my take on storytelling, check out:

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Karl Kapp
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